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Tuesday round-up

Today the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases. The first is Herrera v. Wyoming, which asks whether the Crow Tribe retains treaty rights to hunt on land in Wyoming’s Bighorn National Forest. Gregory Ablavsky previewed the case for this blog. Cecilia Bruni and Trevor O’Bryan have a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. At Bloomberg Law, Jordan Rubin reports that this is “the third high court clash this term asking the justices to parse an old treaty’s modern effect against the backdrop of the government’s serial broken promises to Indian tribes,” but that it “differ[s] from the others in at least one important respect: Herrera has the Trump administration’s support.”

This morning’s second argument is in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v., in which the court will decide when registration of a copyright claim has been made under the copyright statute. Jessica Litman had this blog’s preview. Julia Hollreiser and Benjamin Rodd preview the case for Cornell.

Yesterday the court issued additional orders from its conference on Friday; the justices did not grant any new cases, and they issued two summary opinions and asked for the views of the solicitor general in four cases, two of which are related. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. At Crime & Consequences, Kent Scheidegger looks at the summary decisions.

For The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is still recuperating from cancer surgery and was not on the bench Monday when the Supreme Court began a new round of oral arguments, the first time in her career as a justice that she has missed a session.”  Mark Sherman reports for AP that “Chief Justice John Roberts said in the courtroom Monday that Ginsburg would participate in deciding the argued cases ‘on the basis of the briefs and transcripts of oral arguments.’”


  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle report that “[t]he first bill introduced by the Democratic-led House of Representatives last week contains a provision that would include U.S. Supreme Court justices for the first time in a newly created code of conduct.”
  • Richard Wolf reports for USA Today that “President Donald Trump is betting big on the Supreme Court in 2019 to revive controversial policies on issues ranging from immigration and border security to transgender soldiers in the military.”
  • At Education Week’s School Law Blog, Mark Walsh reports that the court “on Monday declined to hear the appeal of a Missouri school district over its at-large school board elections, which a federal appeals court struck down last year as a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
  • Subscript Law has a graphic explainer for Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, which was argued yesterday and which asks whether the definition of “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act includes attorneys who effect nonjudicial foreclosures.
  • At The World and Everything In It (podcast), Mary Reichard discusses the chief justice’s year-end report, along with the oral arguments in two cases: Republic of Sudan v. Harrison, which involves service of process on foreign governments under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and Biestek v. Berryhill, in which the justices considered social security benefits claimants’ ability to scrutinize the data on which benefits denials are based.
  • At Just Security, Marty Lederman considers the pending stay motions and petitions for certiorari before judgment in a group of challenges to the Trump administration’s ban on service in the military by most transgender people, in order “to highlight some interesting ways in which DOJ has recently tried to frame the merits of the case, and, more broadly, to unpack just what’s at stake in these challenges.”
  • At Crime & Consequences, Kent Scheidegger writes that United States v. Davis, which the court agreed on Friday to review and which asks whether the definition of “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague in the context of federal criminal prosecutions involving firearms, will test “[h]ow far … we stretch the interpretation of a statute to avoid a constitutional problem.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 8, 2019, 6:57 AM),